Reflections

I’m Already Gone…

There is a mockingbird calling outside my window today… (not really)… To be honest, I have no idea what a mockingbird sounds like, or if they even live in my part of the world. I suppose there could be one, but I wouldn’t know it if there was. I just like the name, and felt the connection, and the intrigue drew me on…

There is an icy wind slicing through the warmth of the strong spring sun… (true enough)…

There is a sense of expectation welling up inside me, spilling over, spreading out… tainting everything it touches today.

There is an image haunting me – a single line that branches into many separate ones – repeating over and over again. It’s in the bare tree branches only just beginning to bud, and in the broken ones so callously discarded by the wind. It’s there in the pavement cracks created by the spring thaw and freeze phenomenon. It’s there upon my very skin, where age and dryness intersect. And in the movement of the clouds so far above my head.

There is a phrase that’s taunting me, as my mind touches lightly upon discomfort of any kind… it plays itself, distracting me from every other thought… Don’t like what that person has said or done? Doesn’t matter anymore; move on. Got too much to do today? Doesn’t matter anymore; just get to it. Not feeling up to meeting your obligations today? Doesn’t matter; you do what you can. Feeling sorry for yourself today? Ha ha, hee hee, you’re too funny… damn!

And then the simple, all pervasive, perspective shifting thought…

I’m… already… gone!

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Poetry, Reflections

Fractures…

Fractures…

Glaring defects in all we know.

Micro glitches in my CD, bringing dissonance to those soothing sounds.

Shattered lines and missing pieces in the mirror I hold, distorting every image it reflects.

Spider-web cracks spreading across the window glass, blocking every vision that might exist beyond the pane (pain)…

Simple lines bisecting bones, altering every relationship I hold with gravity on this Earth.

Eliminating any weight-bearing strength I might once have had…

Fractures…

Massive movement on a global scale.

As continental plates rub against one another, creating heat in friction,

threatening to overflow in melted stone and ash.

Shaking up this world in trembling anticipation of what is yet to come.

Ice shelves slipping gracefully into the sea, drowning out the sound of whispering winds,

roaring out a challenge and a warning, so remote it’s voice is barely heard.

Icy winds drive massive storms, burying the cities and the plains in blinding snow,

freezing every person, place or thing in time that moves without changing anything.

A sun that rises, strong and warm, driving out the chill,

Melting all the evidence of all that we’ve done wrong.

Water rising as clouds cry, and snow recedes,

washing away the memory of death breathing down our necks.

Almost…

Fractures…

In the dams that keep the floods at bay…

In the foundations that keep us standing up…

In the beliefs that kept us calm through so many of life’s storms…

In the hope that life will triumph over catastrophe next time…

Fractures…

In the rose-colored glasses and the ego-driven classes.

In the delusions and the promises and the trajectories of our time…

Not broken… Yet!

But soon enough we’ll see

the fractures running through each and every one of us.

Giving up and giving way

collapsing under our own weight

destruction of all we’ve made

creation of a whole new day…

*** *** ***

And with Day 8, One Truth made manifest,

the blinding Light chasing protective Shadows away,

leaving a Mind to crumble and cast about, seeking something solid to hang onto.

But there was Nothing left…

And so it fractured, and fell into a heap.

And tiny pieces trembled as they lifted themselves from the ruins of all-that-was,

seeking Wholeness,

seeking Peace.

“I am alone,” One thought.

And her Heart broke at that realization.

New fractures replacing old…

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Reflections

The Co-Dependency Crackdown. (i.e. Taking My Own Inventory)

Life is a challenge. A series of lessons. A chance to improve. A path to evolution. All of these things. And then some…

Right?

Maybe. Or maybe not. That is what I am discovering, anyway.

I mean, I have spent so much of my life in “school,” learning the hard way. Gaining wisdom, some might say. But all of that implies progress; slow, steady (sometimes regressive) steps forward. All of that implies time.

And if I look at the sum total of my nearly 55 years here (this time), and add to it the memories I have of other times and places, the “facts” (or experiences) would support that hypothesis.

Time heals all wounds. To everything there is a season. Slow and steady wins the race. One foot in front of the other. One day at a time. Keep on keeping on… Time wins every time!

But Time is a construct. A deception. A barrier. And a lie. At least for me…

The truth is, every major breakthrough I’ve had (in this life or any other) came as an epiphany. There might have been wallowing that preceded said epiphany. There might have been intention. There may even have been hints and clues strewn about the landscape of my current timespace. But the moment of change was always dramatic, instantaneous and complete.

I spent months pondering the pros and cons of sobriety before I actually embraced it, still using occasionally and making excuses. And then one day someone said the “wrong” thing to me, embarrassed me, and made me mad as hell. A week later, as my anger subsided, I stopped drinking. And I’ve never even been truly tempted to look back. Does that mean I’m not an alcoholic, after all? Doesn’t matter, because I’m not interested in drinking anymore…

I spent years in and out of therapy, on various medications, trying to “fix” what was broken in me. Then one day it occurred to me that broken or not, I enjoyed my kind of crazy. I’ve never needed meds since…

I have spent a lifetime feeling like I need to “earn” my place in the world, developing integrity, seeking reciprocity, taking responsibility for whatever crosses my path. And yet…

It finally occurs to me that I have a right to exist, simply because I do!

Not earth shaking news for many of you, I’m sure, but it was a life-changing revelation for me.

And I don’t need to save the world, after all. Because each of you is capable of making your own decisions, whether I approve of them or not. Each of you has the same right to exist as me…

And as this “truth” sinks in, “gravity” falls away. My back straightens as my load is lightened. My wings unfurl once more, and I am delighted to discover I can fly once again.

And my spirit soars…

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Reflections

MIA (aka “Out of the Loop”)…

How long does something need to be missing from your life before you notice it’s gone? How long does it take you to identify that missing element? Can you even identify it?

Just curious, I guess. Lately I’ve been experiencing that a lot.

I walked into my craft room the other day, and noticed a gaping hole on a display shelf. I stopped to wonder what might have been there…? I mean, clearly something else must have sat there, else why would the one other item on the shelf be sitting off to one side? Or am I missing something obvious here…?

I have a shelf of broken and forgotten toys at work, gathered over my 13+ years there, and including some that predate even me. I noticed a similar “hole” on that shelf recently. But I absolutely cannot imagine what used to sit there!

My daughter was in serious crisis the weekend before Thanksgiving. It dragged into days… then weeks. She is attempting to reconstruct her life around new principles and priorities now. Yesterday, someone thought to ask me how she was doing with that. My response?

“I have no idea…”

“How can you have no idea?!,” she asked with incredulity.

Hmm… good question, so I pondered for a moment.

“I guess I’m just out of the loop these days,” I answered finally. “She doesn’t report to me, and we only talk when I see her once a week. But then the kids are there…”

A co-worker asked me about something work related yesterday (damned if I remember what – lol!), and my response was “I have no idea.” When she went on to question me about it, I learned something else I didn’t know! She just stared at me like I’d lost my mind, and I merely laughed, pointing out the obvious fact that I was clearly “out of the loop.”

And frankly, I don’t seem to mind…

Working the floor, dealing with customers a lot this time of year. And over the last week or so I’ve been pressed for things we haven’t carried in years. All things I remember having… once. But no more. “Sorry” is all I can offer. Why the sudden fascination with things long gone, things I wouldn’t even know we’re missing unless someone asked?

And so it goes, day in and day out. A monotony of dim colors with an occasional splash of brilliant sparkle, rapidly lost to memory. I not only feel detached from reality, but actually distanced from it, as though none of it is real anymore. My thoughts aren’t even present anymore, spinning as they are around long forgotten memories suddenly resurfacing in my conscious mind. Memories that seem to lack both purpose and significance. Memories that make me wonder why I’m even bothering…?

And all I can “hear” when I question all this is “I’m out of the loop…”

Missing in action…

And I didn’t even know…

So… how long has it been? How long did it take me to realize this?!

Ahhh, time. The loopiest of life’s loops!

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Visions

Completion…

and so I stood there, back to the ocean, waiting for that wave to topple and drown me. I did not flinch, nor did I try to move away. Which is not to say I was not afraid, for clearly I was. But it was not fear that rooted me in place, nor courage in defying that fear; rather it was determination, and stubbornness, a desire to see this vision through to completion. I wanted to know whatever the ocean jasper would reveal…

And to my surprise, the wave did not topple me at all!

I watched and felt, awestruck, as the full force of that wave funneled through my chest, blasting open a hole large enough to allow all that water through without resistance. It pooled rapidly around my feet, rising as an incoming tide. The spray of our encounter misted me, melding with the sweet and salty tears flowing down my cheeks. A pressure began to build behind my forehead and in my belly, pushing for release, until small cracks appeared, allowing the water more exit space. Rainbows formed around me in the abundance of ocean spray.

And the water continued to rise…

There was a moment, before I was submerged, in which all the pieces came together. I felt the solidity of the earth beneath my feet, where shifting sands met solid stone. I felt the sun upon my face and skin, warming me from within. I felt the winds of change whip through my hair, euphoric and invigorating. And then the water claimed me.

As it always does…

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Essay, Reflections

Surrender…?

I know it seems counter-intuitive, but sometimes you have to lose big before you can win. Sometimes you have to let go before you can move forward. And sometimes, you have to surrender before you can be empowered.

I learned that mostly through getting sober in a 12 step group. Being a stubborn lass, I often push myself well beyond my limits, convinced that “if I give up now, I will never get back in the game.” And too often, that has proven to be true.

But there occasionally comes a time when I know I can’t continue, when there is simply not enough left in the tanks or the reserves to carry on. There are times when the battle, for survival or supremacy, simply isn’t worth it anymore. And times when even my wild imagination cannot fantasize a happy outcome, no matter how bizarre and impossible I allow the parameters for “success” to become. The question is knowing when that is…

Hello, Time, my ever present nemesis…”

Because letting go of something that isn’t working (at the right time) may ennable you to notice opportunities you would otherwise have missed; aka the other door or window that appears in the vacuum. Or it may allow you to accept help, whether it comes from other people, some Divine influence, or a quirk of fate. It certainly forces you to re-evaluate your place and your priorities, perhaps leading you to more realistic and attainable victories. Such re-orientation brings new strength to bear in the struggle, new hope, new goals to pursue. It reinvigorates the life you are presently living, however diminished that might be from the one you were pursuing…

But giving up too soon is a cop out, a failure, a loss of momentum; it makes you a quitter, rather than a winner, no matter how successful your “lesser” life becomes. Surrendering too early makes you weaker rather than stronger, presenting as a failure of will rather than an unwinnable contest. It creates a sand pit, a muckhole full of regret and “what if’s” hungry to suck you in at your first hesitation during any subsequent efforts. It is a loss from which you never truly recover…

So, how do you know where that line is? How do you figure out the timing of any surrender? Do you just push on, bruised and broken, until your only coherent thought is “enough, already!”? Or do you push on after that, preferring to err on the side of trying too hard, rather than quitting too soon? Do you literally press on until death drops you while still in harness? (Romantic thought, yes, but unrealistic, as the body usually stops functioning well before death actually comes to claim it.)

I was watching a show the other day, some apolcalyptic, end of the world scenario, where different factions fought about the best way to save the world. And as those “in power” argued amongst themselves trying to one-up each other, a doomsday cult grew up among the common people. The common folk accepted the inevitable end of humanity, seeking love and comfort from each other, while dreaming of how some other form of life (better than the plague that humans have become) would one day rise up to take our place.

Sound familiar?…

But then some renegade science geeks found a way to possibly save humanity, risking all to fight against the powers that be to achieve their vision of possible survival. And just when it seemed they might have succeeded, against all odds, the doomsday cult interceded with an act of terrorism to destroy that fragile hope, and the miracle device they built. Apparently, having accepted the inevitable end, having properly surrendered and found peace, they could not now accept that such an end might not occur. And so they acted out to make sure it would…

Have we, as a species (the masses, not the elites), surrendered our “power” too soon?

That’s the question haunting me today. For I believe I have accepted that humanity, or society anyway (as it is currently structured), is doomed; it simply cannot be saved. Nor do I believe it should be. Too much damage done over too many centuries, too many repeated failures and mistakes, too much proof that “good” can never truly triumph over the “evil” that rules. So, like many others, I wait for the inevitable end, the collapse of society as we know it.

But that end never seems to come, does it?

I mean, all the indicators are there – climate change, mass extinctions, vastly disproportionate allocation of resources, constant discord, increasing violence, an absolute refusal by those in power to change course, and an inability for the common folk to make them. Doomsday cults are a dime a dozen, and the major religions all seem to be preaching “end of days” scenarios. Countless apocalyptic dates have come (and passed), and more are predicted ahead. Most people seem to agree the “end is coming”; it’s really just a matter of when…

And yet…

And yet we keep on keeping on, limping through each day crippled but not dead. Individuals and entire species die off, while new individuals are born and live. Microscopic life forms are thriving (at the expense of others, of course). The sun rises each day on a planet more polluted than the day before. The moon transits through her phases, bearing witness to growing sorrows. But life, and more importantly here, society, continues. Why?!

I believed people who said the economy would collapse. I believed those who said humanity would turn on and destroy itself. But it hasn’t happened. Yet. And that’s a problem for someone like me. Why?

Because every day is a struggle. Because I want nothing more than to lay down my “coping tools” and give up. And I suspect I’m not the only one. But we can’t do that. Not really. Because if we give up too soon, we will only increase our suffering, but not speed up our relief. We won’t die, at least not right away. And while we wait for that, we will lose everything we are barely holding onto now.

I, personally, don’t like how it feels to be homeless and hungry. I’ve been there (long ago), when I was stronger and more physically capable, but I was still miserable. I can’t even fathom going through that now! So I continue to drag myself to work, day after day, juggling bills I can’t actually pay off, waiting expectantly for the day when these struggles become meaningless. But that day never actually comes…

I watch people I love struggle the same way, knowing how little I can do to actually alleviate their pain, because I have none of the resources that might actually help them. And I know they feel the same. I’m starting to feel just a tad bit envious of every death I learn about, knowing they, at least, have escaped. It’s getting to the point where I’m no longer sure if the “grief” I experience, the tears I cry, are to honor those who’ve passed, or to lament the fact that I haven’t!

And those doomsday predictors have all had to “walk back” their predictions, claiming now that we will not pass from this place with a boom and a flash, but with a whimper and a slow rotting away. Maybe in my lifetime, or maybe three generations away! The end, however inevitable it may seem, is not necessarily imminent…

“Time, my old enemy, you have a wicked and cruel sense of humor!”

Is giving up even an option anymore? Is there any chance that surrender could hasten the end of this war? It doesn’t seem that way to me, but perhaps I’m missing something here. Please feel free to enlighten me…

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Poetry, Reflections

“A Body Without Boundaries…”

A body without boundaries

an existence without end

bleeding through and exploring

a variety of dimensions.

Meditation leads to dozing

and dozing to dreams;

dreams roll over again

into conscious reality.

But there is little to distinguish

these separate states of Being

other than the transitions

time spent in between…

Where Change is

the only noticeable Constant

the movement, the action

passive seeming dynamic.

Reaching out to Others

merging and blending

influence wrought not through force

but adapting.

And suddenly I know

why the walls were so solid

the ego so strong

the identity so crucial:

for Water without boundaries

is a much muted force

no strength to blast obstacles

and so easily absorbed.

Soaking in unobtrusively

embracing, becoming

One experiencing An’Other

defining Entanglement.

Until no boundary exists

empathy in its truest sense

with only a tingling and a feeling

in the transitions between.

Is this then the goal?

To be vague like a ghost?

Misty mornings, and rings around moons

shapeshifting clouds in midsummer blues?

No limits, no forms

no lofty hopes;

just being, in this moment

nebula adrift in the cosmos…?

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